FT: Walsall1-3 Peterborough
Walsall have suffered an unlucky defeat tonight at the Banks's, as Peterborough seized every chance on goal they were given.
Walsall played positively for much of the game and were unlucky that they didn't put the ball away more than once.
The game started well for the Saddlers as they started strong, showing determination and energy. Matthew Richards took a free kick on 8 minutes, the ball coming to Westlake, whose shot was tipped over the bar. Ryan McGivern had an outstanding chance 4 minutes later but Posh keeper was there to tip it over the bar.
However, Peterborough scored 2 goals in quick succession and Walsall found themselves 2 goals the worse after 18 minutes.
The first came on one of their first attempt on goal, when Arron Davies assisted Ryan Bennett, who headed into the net. They made it look easy as he was given ample space to get the job done. The second came as the defence again fell to sleep and Alan Davies tucked a neat ball away from the right.
Walsall did not deserve their predicament, but none the less looked hapless and a bit clumsy at time as too many shots went wayward, firing way past the target. Julian Gray came under fire as he squandered good chances, sending numerous balls straight into the stand.
A chance by Macken, after good work from himself, Richards and McGivern as the half neared it's end was saved.
Half time came and went and hopes of a rejuvenated side were wished for once again.
Walsall played the second half in much the same vein as the first. Trying hard but not hitting the right notes. The half opened with a bang as Macken had an excellent chance, the ball coming out to Taundry who missed the goal by a whisker, the ball just going over the bar. However Julian Gray put Walsall back in the game as he headed the ball into the net after another assist by Martin Devaney. The loanee helping the Saddlers out in a useful loanee fashion.
But the good news did not last long as Peterborough got their third goal. A scramble in the box, the Saddlers all in disarray and Langmead snuck it into the box. Damn!
Richards went down injured a few minutes later but was playing again shortly after.
It wasn't long before Devaney was stricken with an injury and was quickly replaced by Steve Jones. An already frustrated and unhappy crowd was riled up some more as Macken went off and Reuben Reid replaced him. Another shock substitute from the underfire gaffer.
The rest of the game was played out with few real chances to be had. There was some action in the dying minutes as Reid blasted the ball over the bar, after a protest of handball inside the area.
And that was it, another defeat and the Walsall hole looks deeper and gloomier. Walsall are arguably working hard and giving supporters hope at times. They are simply not taking their chances as they come. Peterborough did not deserve their win but they're going home smiling. As chants for Chris Hutching's head reverberated around the Banks's it becomes noticeable that it is not a lack of trying or determination from the players, but a clear lack of leadership and direction from Hutchings. Next we have a 'bottom of the league' reprieve as we travel to Fleetwood for the FA Cup first round proper.